My bestie invited me for wine on the deck and a bonfire on Saturday night, the day after the Christmas party; I was feeling a little tired and my stomach a little fragile. I spent an oppressively hot and humid day in front of the TV watching the Australian cricket team get absolutely pummelled by the South Africans. The heat was heavy, the sweat was pouring out of me and I was praying for a big weather change to roll through, storms are one of my favourite things. They change the energy and the feel of the day; bring relief, fear and excitement, one of nature’s most beautiful shows. Rain, thunder and lightning were just ahead of me on the drive to my dinner date with the kids in the car. Our house was on the edge of the storm we only received a small sprinkle, but by the time I arrived at my besties place about 15 minutes from home, water was over the road, the air was lighter and there was the divine earthy scent of rain (Petrichor – the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. The word is constructed from Greek petra, meaning “stone”, and ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.) The bonfire was called off, so we settled on the deck to catch up.
My bestie is working full-time as a contract graphic designer in the city and her husband is renovating their new home in Brisbane, so to aid with school drop off and pick-up, they have hired a lovely, young lady from Germany to help the family. She is adventuring around Australia for the next two years earning, learning and gaining life experience. As someone who has never travelled too far, but would love to and as woman that is double this girl’s age. I love her fearless commitment (well she portrayed fearlessness) to stay and experience Australia and herself, to have the confidence to be in a foriegn country on the other side of the world to your home and explore and know what you want and need. I was sitting on my favourite cane lounge chair, cradling a glass of red observing this confident young lady. At her age I was a wall flower – who before my first day of work in a new job, made my boyfriend come for a drive with me so I would know where to go. She knows how to participate in conversation with poise and self-belief in what she is saying. She was completely at home in the setting and happy to help herself and have no trouble asking for what she wanted. What a brave girl. Asking for what she wants and needs, there is such vulnerability and openness in the act. I can’t imagine at her age, in a foreign country, living with a family that isn’t your own – asking. I still have trouble asking for things, showing that form of vulnerability. Also very appropriate that on this same day, I borrowed my besties book written by Amanda Palmer “The Art of asking”.